Where did the sandwich you ate for lunch come from? Where were the lettuce and tomatoes farmed? Who harvested them? Where did they come from, and why? What river or reservoir contributed the water? How about the electricity used -- how was that generated? And how were all the ingredients transported to the restaurant or cafe where you bought the sandwich? Where did the fuel come from? The truck? The driver? And what about the bread?
This is a familiar line of questioning these days. Similar questions could be asked about the clothes we wear, the screen we’re reading from -- even our college and career choices. In fact, being a responsible consumer or citizen now seems to require a deep understanding not just of our own decisions, but of how everything works together. While these kinds of questions have always been around, answering them has typically been the domain of technocrats and academics. It's somewhat surprising then that, today, it's fashionable to have answers to them.